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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Public participation: the political challenge in southern Africa
Author:Southall, RogerISNI
Periodical:Journal of African Elections (ISSN 1609-4700)
Geographic term:Subsaharan Africa
political systems
Abstract:This article explores how two competing models (or poles) of democracy - liberal democracy and participatory democracy - have been realized in sub-Saharan Africa. The author argues that the placing of 'liberal democracy', in which the active participation of citizens is restricted to occasional visits to the ballot box, as a polar opposite to 'participatory democracy', in which citizens regularly involve themselves in political decisionmaking, is not helpful, particularly in the African situation. He suggests an alternative conception of democracy which recognizes the importance of a number of liberal tenets, accepts that centralized State institutions are necessary, demands that State officials and political representatives be held to systematic account, restricts the influence of moneyed interests, ensures societal conditions that facilitate political participation, recognizes that grossly unequal distribution of material resources should be disallowed, and understands that clear limits should be put on the extent of liberty which citizens can enjoy. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [ASC Leiden abstract]